Up with the larks this morning to venture across to Musselburgh in East Lothian and the 10km road race held as part of the Scottish festival of running events.
The conditions were dry and mild with the heavy-looking clouds thankfully deciding to hold onto the wet stuff for the duration of the morning. The nerves of course don’t allow you to hold onto things – the good old “fight or flight” – takes a hold at these type of events and folk need to prepare them selves for the “flight”. Usually this involves waiting for ages in queues along with hundreds of other like-minded competitors. However this morning I stumbled across this portaloo, with no queue – unheard of!
Once I was settled, I dropped my bag with the necessary dry gear, (as opposed to the sweaty stuff that would surely be on my back in an hour’s time), into the bag creche. I carefully donned my bespoke water & windproof wear (I cut the arm and head holes out of the plastic bag) and joined the others in my coloured “pen”; I was gold today.
Who else had an earworm of Spandau ballet there?
After not too long a wait, we were off through the East Lothian landscape, running along the coastal road that is mostly flat and fast with just the odd gentle up and down. I was out for the experience this morning. This was an event that lots of people seem to have done, judging by the running shirts celebrating their past achievements and with the event being only 30 minutes away, I felt it should be on the 2017 “to do” list.
At the 1km mark I caught up with, and struck up one of these ever so fleeting running friendships. I ran with a like minded soul named Chris who was quite happy to run with me and help our little “band of brothers” along the course. It was apparent to me though that he had a better set of lungs that I had and the pace was too speedy for me, so despite missing the mutual encouragement and chat I advised him that he should just head off and not be held back by me. With a hand-shake he took his leave and zoomed off.
Although running faster than I was planning and physically harder as a result it made for a good start and set me up well for a second 5km faster than the first, negative splits! This made the event more of a challenge and more enjoyable as a consequence. You start and finish this 10km on Musselburgh race course and this old nag dug deep, galloping up the final furlong, with my internal jockey egging me on to the finish.
Then the usual route past volunteers supplying you with your medal, it is a bit wee, (no connection with the first paragraph, this is in the Scottish context i.e. – small), a bag with T-shirt and water and I went off to get my bag with the dry kit to change into after my sweaty-betty fest.
Thanks to all those who were out on the course marshalling and supporting, it was greatly appreciated.
I also decided to wear the “apeman” camera this morning to provide me with a visual memory of my run, to aid me when I am old and in need of memory boosts. Technically still shy of perfection and my older self may get a bit of a shock with the jiggling and those hands that appear every so often on the side of the frame.
After all that exertion and excitement there was only one way to recuperate and that was with a visit to Luca’s and their excellent ice – cream.